Nature’s playground 

Dreaming about Greece conjures up images of snow white houses, blue shutters, sea and sky. Some houses on Lesvos indeed are white, but there is only one village on the island that can be called typical ‘Greek blue & white’: Sigri. The colours of Lesvos are green-blue, because of the millions of olive and pine trees that are scattered all over the island. Most tourists however come only for the sun, sea and sunbeds and have no idea what treasures lay hidden on the island.


Lesvos is famous for flowers, birds, cute little chapels, sturdy churches and interesting monasteries. But it’s the magical woods that hide the most sensational places. Like more than ten waterfalls, a number that at least doubles in winter when the masses of water that fall from the sky make Lesvos reminiscent of the Swiss mountains, with their waters bouncing down the mountain slopes. I have perhaps seen only half of the waterfalls. They all have their own character, but all are of an astonishing beauty. 

You need a pair of walking shoes to reach them and (as far as I know) only the path towards the Man’Katsa waterfall, near Mandamados, is indicated by signs. When finally hearing this waterfall clattering down, you need to descend down a steep rocky path into the cavern below and there now is a wooden rail you can cling to. The reward is a little lake at the foot of the waterfall that invites to take a plunge, while around you are the impressively high rock walls full of colours.

Once was the Pessa waterval, close to Achladeri, also easy to find. But because of farmers draining the water, the water fizzes less and less. And the rails along the path along the deep inclines are so in decay that the signposts have been replaced by signs ‘No entrance’, what doesn’t stop curious walkers taking the slippery paths on their own risk. The wooded environment, with its idyllic little river, full of rapids and exciting rock formations, is however certainly worth exploring. 

More waterfalls

Vathylimno, between Pterounda and Chidera, might be the most remarkable waterfall of the island, because there the water rushes down over yellow/orange stone walls into a small bright green lake. At its feet large flat stones in the same shades laze around in the water, making you want to have a siesta in its tropic-like surroundings. 

The Methalya (Krinilou) waterfall and its fast running river between Andissa and Eresos once was a nature paradise with an ancient watermill and abundant seating, where under lush plane trees you could find some coolness in the hot summer months. The dreams of the owner were shattered after this place was vandalized. The waterfall, already difficult to find, is now even harder to reach because some of the paths are closed. 

The Klapados waterfall is pretty impressive, and the old plane trees that live around the water add even more magic to this place. Rocks covered by bright green moss and aerial roots lead you to follow the little river with its ancient trees and make it difficult to leave this fairytale forest. It rewards you hugely for the long climb back. 


There are also waterfalls close to Skalochori, Anemotia, Parakila, Vrisa, Mesotopos and Eresos, all pretty well hidden, just like the many caves on the island. There are plenty of shallow caves; some housing little altars in honour of a saint, other caves even house complete little churches like in Faneromeni (close to Sigri) and a little one outside of Molyvos. In the woods above Parakila is a hidden Maria church (Panagia Krifti) also partly built under the rocks, once offering an ideal hideaway for many a wanted person.

However it’s not a good idea to penetrate deeper into the larger caves, like the one of Orpheus, no matter how exciting they may be. On Chios you can officially visit two cave systems, while on Lesvos no cave has ever been designated as a tourist destination. Most caves have never been properly examined, so nobody can guarantee their safety.  

Nature park

On Lesvos you will not find any abseiling, rafting, bungee jumping or paragliding; it is not an amusement park, as has become the Belgium Ardennes. For those adventurous tourists who only use a sun bed on the beach to rest after a hefty discovery tour the island can surprise with a pristine nature full of wonderful places.